To look at me, you probably wouldn’t first jump to:

Mexican, Irish, Native American.

             Your immediate reaction might be:

old, fat, that’s a strange assortment of garments she has on/that’s alotta tattoos.

             While it is true that I now mostly dress in such a way as to be confused for Queen Victoria-after-Albert-died, this has not always been the case.

             I can never claim fashion, but I will take credit for a certain eclectic style.  And it’s that individuality which has come to my attention recently.

             To be “normal” has never been my goal.  Down that road was bland averageness.  Around that corner only dull indistinctness could be found.

             During this current political climate, it is in our best interest to remain aware, while also holding on to our compassion.  The Universe would like us to make sure we are taking notice of

Representation.

             No one, including the first people, originated here.  The proto-humans came from somewhere else.  To claim ownership of the land is wrong, on all levels.  To claim “better than” when discussing people cannot even be considered.  The immorality of it must be addressed, until it is gone.

             My mother was born in California, as were her ancestors.  We can trace them back farther than the age of the state, farther back than the age of this country.  My dad’s mom has lineage reaching out across the prairies and plains, older than America, older than our (racist) founding fathers.

             My father’s father’s people left Ireland when there wasn’t enough food, arriving on the shores of New York, not at all welcomed, but tolerated for the labor they could provide.  They took (were forced into?) jobs nobody else wanted.  Just as so many of my family members did, for generations upon generations.

             I come from people who struggled, who were oppressed.  My poverty is part of my lineage.  I am a blend of hardship and sorrow.  You look at me now, though, and all that anyone sees is age, and size.

             At every opportunity, I tell my story.  I share my mixed heritage.  I wear my inked skin proudly, so all who cross my path can see the history we are now living.  I am representing my past, my people, all of the families and the workers and the individuals who came before me.

             When we sit quietly, we can often get overlooked.  When we show up, stand tall, call out in loud voices, we are more easily noticed.  I want to be noticed.  I want strangers to ask who my people are.  I want to be understood for who I came from, and what they suffered.

                         The stories of our past are important in our present.  We are in this together, shouldn’t we share knowledge? Shouldn’t we rejoice as we move ahead into a place of acceptance, a future we can look forward to?

             Let’s be proud of who we are.  Representing honestly, that’s how we help, that’s how we make a difference.

 

 

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